Disability Access Lawyers

ADA Lawyers in California

Potter Handy, LLP has been litigating disability access cases since 1996. Providing legal service statewide in California.

Our law firm has represented hundreds of persons with disabilities who have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability.

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Representing individuals who have encountered public establishments that are not ADA-compliant

Almost all people face problems and barriers at one time or another. However, barriers can be more frequent and have a greater impact on people with disabilities.

  • A physical environment that is not accessible
  • Lack of relevant assistive technology (assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices)
  • Negative attitudes of people towards disability
  • Services, systems and policies that are either nonexistent or that hinder the involvement of all people with a health condition in all areas of life

There are also many barriers that can make it incredibly difficult or even impossible for people with disabilities to function.

These are the seven most common barriers. There is often more than one barrier at a time.

  • Attitudinal
  • Communication
  • Physical
  • Policy
  • Programmatic
  • Social
  • Transportation

Attitudinal barriers

Attitudinal barriers are the most common obstacles and barriers. For example, people may not be aware that a person with a disability may find it difficult to get in or through a place to participate in everyday life and day-to-day activities. Examples of attitudinal barriers include:

  • Stereotyping: People sometimes stereotype those with disabilities, assuming their quality of life is poor or that they are unhealthy because of their impairments.
  • Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination: Within society, these attitudes may come from people’s ideas related to disability—People may see disability as a personal tragedy, as something that needs to be cured or prevented, as a punishment for wrongdoing, or as an indication of the lack of ability to behave as expected in society.

Today, society’s understanding of disability is improving as we identify “disability” as what results when a person’s functional needs are not met in his or her physical and social environment. By failing to consider disability as a personal deficit or shortcoming, and instead thinking of disability as a social responsibility in which all individuals should be supported to live a full and independent life, it is easier to recognize and resolve the difficulties that all people – including those with disabilities – are experiencing.

Communication Barriers

Communication barriers are experienced by people who have disabilities that affect hearing, speech, reading, writing and/or understanding, and who use different means of communication than people who do not have these disabilities. Examples of communication barriers include:

  • Written health promotion messages with barriers that prevent people with vision impairments from receiving the message. These include
      • Use of small print or no large-print versions of material.
      • No Braille or versions for people who use screen readers.
  • Auditory health messages may be inaccessible to people with hearing impairments, including
      • Videos that do not include captioning.
      • Oral communications without accompanying manual interpretation (such as, American Sign Language).
  • The use of technical language, long sentences, and words with many syllables may be significant barriers to understanding for people with cognitive impairments.

Physical barriers

Physical barriers are structural barriers in natural or man-made environments that hinder or obstruct mobility (moving around in the environment) or access. Examples of physical barriers include:

  • Steps and curbs that block a person with mobility impairment from entering a building or using a sidewalk.
  • Mammography equipment that requires a woman with mobility impairment to stand.
  • Absence of a weight scale that accommodates wheelchairs or others who have difficulty stepping up.

Policy Barriers

Policy barriers are often related to a lack of awareness or implementation of existing laws and regulations that require programs and activities to be accessible to people with disabilities. Examples of policy barriers include:

  • Denying qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in or benefit from federally funded programs, services, or other benefits.
  • Denying individuals with disabilities access to programs, services, benefits, or opportunities to participate as a result of physical barriers.
  • Denying reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, so they can perform the essential functions of the job for which they have applied or have been hired to perform.

Programmatic Barriers

Programmatic barriers limit the effective delivery of a public health or health program to individuals with various types of disabilities. Examples of programmatic barriers include:

  • Inconvenient scheduling.
  • Lack of accessible equipment (such as mammography screening equipment).
  • Insufficient time set aside for medical examination and procedures.
  • Little or no communication with patients or participants.
  • Provider’s attitudes, knowledge, and understanding of people with disabilities.

Social Barriers

Social barriers are related to the conditions under which people are born, develop, live, learn, work and age – or social determinants of health – that can lead to a decrease in the functioning of people with disabilities. Here are examples of social barriers:

  • People with disabilities are far less likely to be employed. In 2017, 35.5% of people with disabilities, ages 18 to 64 years, were employed, while 76.5% of people without disabilities were employed, about double that of people with disabilities.
  • Adults age 18 years and older with disabilities are less likely to have completed high school compared to their peers without disabilities (22.3% compared to 10.1%).
  • People with disabilities are more likely to have income of less than $15,000 compared to people without disabilities (22.3% compare to 7.3%).
  • Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than children without disabilities.

Transportation barriers

Transport barriers are due to a lack of proper transport that interferes with the ability of an individual to be independent and to function in society. Examples of transportation barriers include:

  • Lack of access to accessible or convenient transportation for people who are not able to drive because of vision or cognitive impairments.
  • Public transportation may be unavailable or at inconvenient distances or locations.

Have you experienced physical barriers or impediments to access?

The attorneys at Potter Handy, LLP have dealt with public establishments that are not ADA-compliant on behalf of their clients in hundreds of cases.

We will not charge you for legal services provided unless your case is won.

Call (800) 383-7027 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention